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State Resident Rights

216.515 Rights of residents -- Duties of facilities -- Actions.

Every resident in a long-term-care facility shall have at least the following rights:

(1) Before admission to a long-term-care facility, the resident and the responsible party or his responsible family member or his guardian shall be fully informed in writing, as evidenced by the resident's written acknowledgment and that of the responsible party or his responsible family member or his guardian, of all services available at the long-term-care facility. Every long-term-care facility shall keep the original document of each written acknowledgment in the resident's personal file.

(2) Before admission to a long-term-care facility, the resident and the responsible party or his responsible family member or his guardian shall be fully informed in writing, as evidenced by the resident's written acknowledgment and that of the responsible party or his responsible family member or his guardian, of all resident's responsibilities and rights as defined in this section and KRS 216.520 to 216.530.

Every long-term-care facility shall keep the original document of each written acknowledgment in the resident's personal file.

(3) The resident and the responsible party or his responsible family member or his guardian shall be fully informed in writing, as evidenced by the resident's written acknowledgment and that of the responsible party or his responsible family member, or his guardian, prior to or at the time of admission and quarterly during the resident's stay at the facility, of all service charges for which the resident or his responsible family member or his guardian is responsible for paying. The resident and the responsible party or his responsible family member or his guardian shall have the right to file complaints concerning charges which they deem unjustified to appropriate local and state consumer protection agencies. Every long-term-care facility shall keep the original document of each written acknowledgment in the resident's personal file.

(4) The resident shall be transferred or discharged only for medical reasons, or his own welfare, or that of the other residents, or for nonpayment, except where prohibited by law or administrative regulation. Reasonable notice of such action shall be given to the resident and the responsible party or his responsible family member or his guardian.

(5) All residents shall be encouraged and assisted throughout their periods of stay in long-term care facilities to exercise their rights as a resident and a citizen, and to this end may voice grievances and recommend changes in policies and services to facility staff and to outside representatives of their choice, free from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal.

(6) All residents shall be free from mental and physical abuse, and free from chemical and physical restraints except in emergencies or except as thoroughly justified in writing by a physician for a specified and limited period of time and documented in the resident's medical record.

(7) All residents shall have confidential treatment of their medical and personal records.  Each resident or his responsible family member or his guardian shall approve or refuse the release of such records to any individuals outside the facility, except as otherwise specified by statute or administrative regulation.

(8) Each resident may manage the use of his personal funds. If the facility accepts the responsibility for managing the resident's personal funds as evidenced by the facility's written acknowledgment, proper accounting and monitoring of such funds shall be made. This shall include each facility giving quarterly itemized statements to the resident and the responsible party or his responsible family member or his guardian which detail the status of the resident's personal funds and any transactions in which such funds have been received or disbursed. The facility shall return to the resident his valuables, personal possessions, and any unused balance of moneys from his account at the time of his transfer or discharge from the facility. In case of death or for valid reasons when he is transferred or discharged the resident's valuables, personal possessions, and funds that the facility is not liable for shall be promptly returned to the resident's responsible party or family member, or his guardian, or his executor.

(9) If a resident is married, privacy shall be assured for the spouse's visits and if they are both residents in the facility, they may share the same room unless they are in different levels of care or unless medically contraindicated and documented by a physician in the resident's medical record.

(10) Residents shall not be required to perform services for the facility that are not included for therapeutic purposes in their plan of care.

(11) Residents may associate and communicate privately with persons of their choice and send and receive personal mail unopened.

(12) Residents may retain the use of their personal clothing unless it would infringe upon the rights of others.

(13) No responsible resident shall be detained against his will. Residents shall be permitted and encouraged to go outdoors and leave the premises as they wish unless a legitimate reason can be shown and documented for refusing such activity.

(14) Residents shall be permitted to participate in activities of social, religious, and community groups at their discretion.

(15) Residents shall be assured of at least visual privacy in multibed rooms and in tub, shower, and toilet rooms.

(16) The resident and the responsible party or his responsible family member or his guardian shall be permitted the choice of a physician.

(17) If the resident is adjudicated mentally disabled in accordance with state law, the resident's guardian shall act on the resident's behalf in order that his rights be implemented.

(18) Each resident shall be treated with consideration, respect, and full recognition of his dignity and individuality, including privacy in treatment and in care for his personal needs.

(19) Every resident and the responsible party or his responsible family member or his guardian has the right to be fully informed of the resident's medical condition unless medically contraindicated and documented by a physician in the resident's medical record.

(20) Residents have the right to be suitably dressed at all times and given assistance when needed in maintaining body hygiene and good grooming.

(21) Residents shall have access to a telephone at a convenient location within the facility for making and receiving telephone calls.

(22) The resident's responsible party or family member or his guardian shall be notified immediately of any accident, sudden illness, disease, unexplained absence, or anything unusual involving the resident.

(23) Residents have the right to have private meetings with the appropriate long-term care facility inspectors from the Cabinet for Health Services.

(24) Each resident and the responsible party or his responsible family member or his guardian has the right to have access to all inspection reports on the facility.

(25) The above-stated rights shall apply in all cases unless medically contraindicated and documented by a physician in writing in the resident's medical record.

(26) Any resident whose rights as specified in this section are deprived or infringed upon shall have a cause of action against any facility responsible for the violation. The action may be brought by the resident or his guardian. The action may be brought in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce such rights and to recover actual and punitive damages for any deprivation or infringement on the rights of a resident.

Any plaintiff who prevails in such action against the facility may be entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees, costs of the action, and damages, unless the court finds the plaintiff has acted in bad faith, with malicious purpose, or that there was a complete absence of justifiable issue of either law or fact. Prevailing defendants may be entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees. The remedies provided in this section are in addition to and cumulative with other legal and administrative remedies available to a resident and to the cabinet.

Effective: July 15, 1998

History: Amended 1998 Ky. Acts ch. 426, sec. 427, effective July 15, 1998. --

Amended 1988 Ky. Acts ch. 280, sec. 4, effective July 15, 1988. -- Amended 1982

Ky. Acts ch. 141, sec. 74, effective July 1, 1982; and ch. 157, sec. 24, effective July

15, 1982. -- Created 1978 Ky. Acts ch. 122, sec. 2, effective June 17, 1978.

Note: 1980 Ky. Acts ch. 396, sec. 78 would have amended this section effective July 1,

1982. However, 1980 Ky. Acts ch. 396 was repealed by 1982 Ky. Acts ch. 141,

sec. 146, also effective July 1, 1982.

 

Last Updated 7/24/2008
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